Arizona Theatre Company and Sean Daniels, artistic director, will partner with Florida Studio Theatre in developing a new play, Tampa, as part of The Playwrights Project, FST’s newly launched artistic initiative featuring 32 of the nation’s top playwrights, sketch comedy writers and musical theater developers.
Tampa, which follows two brothers who, though they are bound by blood, take different paths in life, will be among the new plays brought to fruition nationwide through the project.
The Playwrights Project was “conceived within the first few days of the theater shutting down due to COVID-19,” says Richard Hopkins, FST producing artistic director.
“Three days after closing the theater, I had a revelation about Shakespeare—he, like every good artist, instead of following the dark and writing about the plagues of his time, took the road less traveled and followed the light. He wrote, without judgment, about the wonder of humankind. Which made me think that now is the time for FST to inspire the creation of plays. To ask playwrights to write like Shakespeare and reveal humanity’s complexities without judgment.”
Daniels, who attended high school and Florida State University in The Sunshine State but fell in love with theater growing up in Mesa and attending ATC productions, called the concept “groundbreaking in its creative possibilities,” adding that “Arizona Theatre Company is excited to partner with organizations that are creating new work that we’ll be watching for years to come. We’re dedicated to being a part of the national conversation, and we do that by working with others we respect so much.”
Funding for the project comes from the Paycheck Protection Program with material generated to be considered for future FST Mainstage, Cabaret, Sketch Comedy and Children’s Theatre programs.